Read this reflection from Change Lead Pedro Cameron on joining the All in for Change Team, the importance of partnership working and his priorities as a Change Lead.
As Engagement Lead for the Homeless Housing Options Scotland (HHOS) project, it’s important for me to make sure that me and my project are connecting with the sector as far and wide as possible. Partnership working, and joined up approaches are, in my view, essential to delivering effective homelessness services. Another crucial thread to this is the input and participation of those with lived experience. All In For Change is a prime example of how this approach can work.
I have worked for Housing Options Scotland for over 7 years now, and in 2021 we launched our HHOS project – marking a move from our usual housing advice service into one that can offer emergency advice and support to disabled people, older people and members of the Armed Forces community who find themselves in housing crisis.
During my first two years working on HHOS, I became more and more aware of the work that All In For Change was doing through various online events, and through talking to people involved, and I was always impressed by the knowledge and wisdom shared by its members. I eventually attended in person one of the All In For Change Roadshow events in 2022 – and while in that room I was finally convinced to join the team.
Collaboration and connection are key to ending homelessness
One of my key priorities in the role has been establishing ways that we can work together with our clients, other organisations, local authorities and the government to help to ensure that there are positive relationships between all involved in the homelessness process. I think that the key to this is collaboration and connection.
Being part of the Change Team, and the wide range of people who work on it, fits in perfectly with that aim. Everyone involved with All In For Change is dedicated to ending homelessness, and there is a great sense of community, with a shared goal, which I believe should be the way the whole sector works together.
Highlighting hidden homelessness – with a focus on equality, diversity and inclusion
There are a few other priorities that I wish to bring to, and enhance within the Change Team. As a housing professional, who has themselves experienced homelessness, it is extremely beneficial to be on a team which marries lived experience with professional experience. When I was homeless in my late teens, sleeping at a friend’s in a cupboard under the stairs, I had no idea that I actually qualified as homeless.
I am passionate about perceptions of homelessness, who can be affected by it, and what it actually looks like. At HHOS, the majority of our clients are not roofless, and are actually what we would consider as “hidden homeless”. I think it’s important that those voices are heard too.
Finally, I am extremely passionate about equality, diversity, inclusion and accessibility in homelessness. Those with protected characteristics are more likely to experience homelessness, and experience additional barriers, so it makes sense for us to look more closely at the impact of that. It’s really important to me that minority groups are considered at every part of service design and delivery, and not retrofitted.
I have spent a lot of my professional life working in this field and I want to bring that to the Change Team and make sure the experiences of protected groups are heard and considered in the fight to end homelessness.
All In For Change is going to be instrumental in making sure homelessness is ended, and I’m delighted that I get to be involved in the team.
All in for Change are recruiting new members! If you want to be part of this team, using your experience to collaborate with decision-makers and engaging with people using and providing services, get in touch for an application pack – email@example.com